Betty King was a scientist, teacher, community activist, photographer, mother, grandmother, neighbor, and friend who lived in the Hume Springs neighborhood in north Alexandria from the early 1980's until she passed away in her home on Mark Drive on June 2, 2016. Betty helped to reinforce a human connection to the Park and forge the vision of this urban waterway to reality.
Betty was the epitome of the citizen activist — community involvement in her Hume Springs neighborhood was a passion. Concerned with safety and crime in the area, she was part of a group of residents who were instrumental in ousting drug dealers from Hume Springs in the early 1990s. Betty ran for Alexandria City Council in 1991 as an independent. For many years she was a Board Officer of the Hume Springs Civic Association and worked tirelessly as an active participant of the Arlandria Small Area Planning Advisory Group and the Four Mile Run Restoration Joint Task Force between Alexandria and Arlington. Betty followed growth in the community by taking and displaying many professional photographs of families, children and the neighborhood. She acted as an impromptu historian for the community.
Betty earned a Ph.D. in microbiology from Harvard University. She taught biology at Bard College and Skidmore College in New York State for several years
before returning to the Washington DC area, where she was involved in the early formation and development of Northern Virginia Community College's biology department and taught for more than three decades. After retirement, she continued to tutor children in her Hume Springs neighborhood. Her young students fondly called her the "Biology Guru".
Betty's kitchen window overlooked Four Mile Run Park and her love for the parkland was apparent. She invigorated the tie between the Park and the community, and the active park stewardship we see today reflects the legacy of her work. This entrance to Four Mile Run Park was dedicated to Betty King by the Hume Springs Civic Association in 2017 in recognition of her energetic involvement and efforts to improve the quality of life in the surrounding community.